Arsenal under-18s confirmed their status at the best youth team in the country by securing a prestigious Premier Academy League and FA Youth Cup double, but what is the next stage in their development. Read on for a player-by-player analysis.
The Islington-born ‘keeper was one of Arsenal’s most impressive performers in the 2nd leg of the Final at Anfield and, despite his lack of height, he is an excellent shot stopper.
Shea recently signed his first professional contract, although he is still likely to be used in some under-18s games next season. He finds his path in the Reserves blocked by Vito Mannone and Wojciech Szczesny.
A solid, dependable right-back, Craig signed professional terms this summer and will be second-choice in his position for the Reserves next season behind Gavin Hoyte. The Wandsworth-born youngster is unlikely to make a career at Arsenal but could become a valuable player in the Championship or maybe even the Premier League.
The centre-back came up with some crucial goals in the FA Youth Cup run and will look to further continue his development next season. Academy head Liam Brady has already hinted that Kyle should be looking to go on loan next campaign, with League One side Brighton reportedly interested.
Luke was one of the revelations of the season at centre-back and was justly rewarded with a professional contract. No longer, eligible for the u-18s, he will look to have a full season in the Reserves before going out on loan the following campaign.
Still criticised in some quarters, but came on leaps and bounds at left-back last season. Should be a regular for the Reserves following Gibbs’ promotion to the first-team, but it’s difficult to see him making it at Arsenal in the long run.
After four seasons of playing in the FA Youth Cup, Henri will look to step up to first-team football next season. Having already enjoyed a highly-successful loan spell at Scunthorpe, a temporary switch to a Premier League or Championship side could be the next move. Alternatively, he could be an integral part of the Carling Cup squad.
It’s hard to believe that Jack will still be eligible to play in the FA Youth Cup next season, but he will look to push on to the first team on a more regular basis, starting with pre-season.
Francis enjoyed a superb first season in North London and could be set for a run in the Carling Cup team next campaign.
Unfortunate to miss the second-leg at Anfield through injury, but could partner Coquelin in the Carling Cup in 2009/10.
Another candidate for the Carling Cup team, Jay’s first target for next campaign will be to identify his long-term position; he has played everywhere apart from right-back since he joined the club.
Is likely to be involved in the Carling Cup squad and is highly rated by Wenger.
Frenchman was tipped for a move away from Arsenal this summer but the signs suggest he is staying now. Faces a fight to get into the Carling Cup squad.
With Watt and Sunu to compete with, his first-team opportunities could be limited but should get regular run-outs for the Reserves. Another candidate for a loan spell.